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Mihail Neamtu: the voice of Faith, Freedom, and Culture

25/01/2024

Mihail Neamtu is a Romanian author and public intellectual in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. In the past, he lectured at the University of Bucharest in the Graduate Program for Comparative Religious Studies, but also at Acton University in Michigan, USA. For a few years, he was also research director at the Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Past and the Memory of the Romanian Exile. In the realm of business, he is the founder and CEO of Marile Cărți (Great Books), a successful educational company and publishing house.

Born in Transylvania in 1978, Mihail Neamtu is a prolific and highly active figure in Eastern European intellectual life, particularly well-known in Romania for his public speaking, writingand socio-political commentary. He has authored more than a dozen books on theological, political, biographical and literary themes that reflect his passion for classical education and the foundational values of Western civilization.

Mihail has built his successful career on a sound education: he has a BA in Philosophy (with honors) from the University of Babeș-Bolyai (Cluj, Romania), and an MA in Theology from Durham University (UK) where his research thesis focused on the “Theology and Language in St. Gregory of Nissa”. He was also a visiting student at the University of Munich’s Department of Catholic Theology and a research fellow at the New Europe College, Institute for Advanced Studies (Bucharest, Romania). In 2008, Mihail Neamtu obtained his PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from King’s College London, which had also awarded him the Colin Gunton Prize for Essay in Theology in 2005.

With a philosophical and theological background and a PhD degree, Mihail Neamtu turned to teaching and became a visiting professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Bucharest where he led seminars in Comparative Religion. His expertise was also called upon at the University of Arad (Romania) as a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, and as a non-resident research fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, working within the Cold War International History Project. Around this time he also became director for academic programs at the Bucharest-based Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Past and for the Memory of the Romanian Exile.

Mihail Neamtu continued to add to his education and professional expertise through several prestigious research fellowships and grants won from institutions such as the Ratiu Foundation in London, Renovabis Stiftung in Germany and Christ Church College, University of Oxford. Overall, his research and teaching activities revolved around religion and modern ideologies, political theology, early Christianity, hermeneutics of religion and French phenomenology, ethics and dissident movements in Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 1980s.

Neamțu’s first popular book (published in 2005 under the title The Owl Among the Ruins and nominated for a national debut award) looks at the ambivalent relationship between the Church and the State before and after the collapse of Communism. The author outlines the moral differences between the Polish Catholic Church under Wojciech Jaruzelski and the Romanian Orthodox Church under the political regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Mihai Neamțu was also among the first Christian writers to tackle the question of collaboration between the Secret Police (Securitate) and the clergy. The book also looks at the spiritual needs of the youth (including the representatives of the Roma community) in the age of consumerism.

The Burden of Freedom (2009) is one of his most scholarly in style, as it pertains to the Western history of political ideas. Neamțu attempts to critically assess the two extremes of radical modernity. First, the author discusses Spinoza’s biblical exegesis and the birth of secular liberal democracy; then, he looks at Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rationalism of the Enlightenment. As a result, Neamțu searches for a third way, as it is revealed by American exceptionalism (illustrated by the works of Jaroslav Pelikan and William F. Buckley Jr). As a champion of economic freedom, Neamțu also defended the intrinsic virtues of entrepreneurship, claiming that those who create wealth and abundance in a world of scarcity echo the divine transformation of a formless reality (the biblical tohu-bohu) into a living garden.

Although only in his 40s, Mihail’s prodigious writing activity has already produced an extensive body of works from books to scholarly articles and essays, not to mention articles in various media publications. His writings seek to contribute to contemporary society’s understanding of the role of Christianity in establishing civilization across Europe and how Marxist doctrines have mutilated the spirituality of the world.

Dr. Mihail Neamtu emerges as a luminary whose insights transcend borders and epochs. He has studied carefully the contemporary political landscape, notably the clash between the Trump movement and the entrenched corruption of Washington D.C.. With incisive questions, he unraveled the mystery behind the American people’s choice of an underdog, the crowd’s reaction to Barack Obama’s perceived arrogance, and the unforeseen triumph of Donald Trump against the backdrop of Hollywood consensus and mainstream media bias.

In his seminal book, “The Ages of Love” (2016), Dr. Neamtu ventured beyond the political arena, exploring the multifaceted facets of love. Three captivating stories unfolded within its pages, capturing the essence of agape amidst the tapestry of profane love. The book received accolades at the International Gaudeamus Book Fest in Bucharest, where writers, journalists, diplomats, and theologians praised its depth.

Dr. Adrian Papahagi, in particular, lauded Dr. Neamtu’s ability to decipher the sacred halo of agape within the lattice of profane love. The intertwining narratives of the archetypal child, Mowgli, enchanted by Shanti, and the tale of teenagers Mihnea and Dora, culminated in a climactic ending laid bare in the letter of two Eastern European intellectuals, Dinu and Nelli Pillat. The encounters within the book were hailed as admirable, capable of inspiring love in the hearts of those who delve into its pages.

Moreover, Mihail Neamțu’s work combines philosophy and theology to explain the moral decline of socio-political life in our time. These themes are examined at length in his books dedicated to love, which look at the concepts of Eros and Agape.

After thousands of digital interactions, Eros seems to be overwhelmed. Lost among emojis, Cupid has run out of arrows. Intoxicated by the illusion of perfection, Bacchus has depleted his wine. Traditional romantic encounters have become improbable today. The deity Tinder has blended them all together. Continuously swiping left on love, deceptive and occasionally superficial Eros sickens our lives. Millions of young individuals fall into the trap of transient relationships, transforming their bodies into commodities. The human person acquires a commodity value, and the soul is sold for a cheap dose of dopamine. Men learn to exploit women’s bodies, while women are encouraged to dominate and manipulate men. The result? Reciprocal torture between partners. In a world where we are invited to betray and perpetually conceal something, here is a volume that advocates for the naturalness of love.

Adopting a confessional tone, Mihail Neamțu becomes vulnerable and provides his readers with the literary balm that soothes and awakens alike. Freed from the neurosis of match-making techniques, we can sigh with relief: love is not about compatibility but construction. If you have squandered too many hearts, if sentimental frauds have deceived you, if you have postponed the decision of a commitment for too long, if you have tasted the bitterness of early separations, if you have bitten into the facile offer of the video chat industry, this book is for you.

Juicy, vibrant, sprinkled with humor, “Eros, Logos & Agape” is an apology for normalcy. The following pages will surprise and encourage any soul that still believes in love. Responding to the most uncomfortable questions from young individuals, writer Mihai Neamțu gives a slap to superficiality and sets you thinking. (And acting.)

In recent years, Mihail Neamțu has also turned to entrepreneurship, creating a successful Public Speaking and Leadership school where he teaches the art of oratory through the use of cultural and marketing strategies.

Estera Dalca

Donează pentru proiectul MihailNeamtu.eu

„Pentru ca răul să triumfe, e suficient ca oamenii buni să nu facă nimic.” (Edmund Burke)

Noi suntem Mișcarea Națională de Rezistență împotriva tuturor rătăcirilor ideologice ale ultimilor decenii. Iată de ce vă solicităm sprijinul generos pentru anul 2024.

Donațiile dumneavoastră vor acoperi cheltuielile de transport și cazare a echipei mele, dar și închirierea unor sali, costurile de filmare, montaj, post-producție (burtiere, efecte grafice, muzică, subtitrări, animație, etc). Vă mulțumesc!

- Mihail Neamțu

Prof. Paul Aligică: Ce vor cei care chestionează proiectul național sau națiunea română

Estera Dalca

Estera Dalca trăiește în Timișoara. Predă limba engleză la un liceu confesional și e pasionată de C. S. Lewis și istoria creștinismului. Este Președinte al Asociației Marile Cărți și director de programe la Clubul Marile Cărți.

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